Tag Archives: Electrical Audio

Ep. #212: Ike Turner of MINUTES & Brown Company

Ike Turner is a musician and professor based in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Primarily a drummer, Turner is best known for playing in amazing bands like MINUTES, Brown Company, and the Book-Burners. He recently went on a very long bike ride across some of the United States of America and so it seemed like a good time to catch up. Here, Ike and I discuss saying my name, what it’s like in Kalamazoo, Michigan, teaching, colleges and universities, teaching the history of rock ‘n’ roll, writing a cool book about this history, seizures, Stephen Sowley and MINUTES, punk rock, Electrical Audio and PRF, Matthew Barnhart and the band Tre Orsi, the Kalamazoo music community and the Millhouse, the progressiveness of Michigan, the Blind Pig in Ann Arbor, a state-crossing bicycle trip, running towards our dads, man cooking, cheering sections, mountains of information, the band These Estates, meeting good people who tell interesting stories, tales of the trek, sleeping after long days of riding, bicycling on highways or interstates, you can’t ride your bike on the 401, the Tim Hortons Donut Dome in Toronto, reverent baseball at Wrigley Field, the Tragically Hip, MINUTES and Brown Company and a new band, the MINUTES song “Boxes,” and that was the end.

Related links: minutes.bandcamp.com comedyminusone.com vishkhanna.com

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Ep. #120: Steve Albini

Steve Albini is a world-renowned recording engineer and the owner and one operator of the stellar Electrical Audio recording facility in Chicago, Illinois. He is also one of three singers and one of one electric guitarists in Shellac, one of the most significant and influential underground rock bands of the past 25 years. On September 16, Touch and Go Records will release Dude Incredible, the fifth official album by Shellac. Here, Steve and I chat about a cool Chicago July and the Polar Vortex revival, his recent interview with High Times who care a lot about drugs, how smoking weed is a young man’s game, how certain things should be experienced by all of us who wish to relate to everyone else, the last time he tripped balls, rolling fatties, Kevin Goldstein and getting the royal treatment at a recent White Sox/Astros game in Chicago, meeting Steve Sparks and talking about knuckleballers, living in Houston, being on-field for batting practice, the Cubs are really embarrassing statistically and otherwise, Wrigley Field is cool but Sox games are more fun, the Steve Bartman incident, baseball and curses, National League versus American League baseball, when he first fell in love with baseball as a kid, the Cincinnati Reds in the 1970s, why baseball might be the most appealing, compelling, and distinctive major team sport, pulling the goalie, participating in events like the World Series of Poker, welcome back Gabe Kaplan, why poker can be so engaging, oddly complex games like baduci, winning, tells in poker versus the dramatic arts, interpreting behaviour, reverse psychology, and pantomime, the honesty of Jamie Gold, streakiness, the significance of the Ramones, laughing at the Clash, the Jesus Lizard’s BOOK, David Yow and cats that demand respect, Gary the cat, making At Action Park 20 years ago, taking time with Shellac, the Shellac albums don’t need to be remastered, why Shellac haven’t released singles in a while, contemplating a Shellac singles compilation album, a one word encapsulation of every song on Dude Incredible with a slight elaboration on that one word, the Evens, his upcoming Pop Montreal speaking engagement, recording symposium with Howard Bilerman, and a cooking exhibition, making a record in Winnipeg this fall, and that’s the end of radio/podcasting.

Related links: touchandgorecords.com electricalaudio.com vishkhanna.com

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Ep. #104: Fucked Up

Fucked Up are a really awesome and prolific band from Toronto who make great, smart rock records and do remarkable, community-minded things for people less fortunate than themselves. On June 3, Matador Records is releasing the band’s fourth proper album outside of the thousands of singles and EPs they’ve released over the past 13 years. The new record is called Glass Boys, I saw some of it get recorded in Chicago at Electrical Audio last summer, and there are at least two versions of it, one normal, one slow, that you can listen to. A couple of weeks ago, I went to Fucked Up’s practice space and, like some journalistic Noah, interviewed the band in pairs, starting with singer Damian Abraham and drummer Jonah Falco, following up with bassist Sandy Miranda and guitarist Ben Cook, and finally guitarists Mike Haliechuk and Josh Zucker. So yeah, Damian and Jonah are first and we talk about their mysterious practice space, Sloan and Danko Jones, beefs, Career Suicide, 13 years of Fucked Up and serious practice spaces, roller coaster land, my odd hair day, the band’s current collective emotional state, #marriage, Sandy, hair, and cars, who in Fucked Up actually knows what’s going on, the lyrics of Glass Boys and the burden of nostalgia, working towards the future, punk rock and archiving, music is non-formalized, Mike’s interesting instrumental ideas and multiple drum kits, alternate tempos and the half-time, spatial version of Glass Boys, many suggestions for special guest ‘back-up’ vocalists, J Mascis, Gord Downie is a good person, Mike likes songs, marijuana, Damian thinks Glass Boys is a concept record, being perfectly set up to fail, where we fit in and fulfilling our dreams, the song “Warm Change,” Sandy and Ben and I talk about her broadcasting experience, which includes doing the Mods and Rockers radio show on CIUT with Damian and Collective Concerts’ Jeff Cohen when she was a teenager, another show she did on CKLN, and working for Alliance Atlantis Broadcasting, driving all the way to New Jersey to play for 25 minutes, how Sandy joined Fucked Up in March 2001, Ben was a fan of Mods and Rockers, Smegheads, Toronto punk, Melanie Kaye, opening up for the Stooges on August 6, 2008, Ben’s first Fucked Up show was in Montreal after being their roadie, Ben thinks Mike had a crush on him, packing tea, Ben was the buffer, removing oneself from an emo, dysfunctional group, Fucked Up Zen, Sandy might be losing it, some people are getting along better, Ben goes off about stuff sometimes, Toronto people should be louder, recording chunks of Glass Boys with only certain members at places like Electrical Audio in Chicago, the songs are written together, Mike and Jonah took lead roles, other people played bass on this LP and Sandy’s not really ok with that, proper pairing, ill communication, bands are too much like families, Ben thinks Glass Boys is about Mike and Damian’s weird vibes about getting older and now they’re friends, Sandy thinks it’s about end times and the uncertainty that comes with growing older, Ben is surprisingly optimistic, Fucked Up has more gas but there might be a hole in the tank, the song “Sun Glass,” it’s not all cotton candy and unicorns, the song “DET,” drugs, I try to ask Josh and Mike about the song “DET” but it’s a Damian song and it’s very personal, I went to a bakery, New Jersey might be better than Japan, work is work, Mike begins to become a very difficult interview subject, Mike thinks that he’s 29 and I’m old, I try to take him seriously, Mike goes through the litany of philosophical questions that Glass Boys attempts to answer, Mike says he and Damian didn’t actually write this record together, tension vs. weirdness, Mike played piano when he was a kid, Josh was in a Toronto hardcore band called Youngblood when he was 12 years old, at one point Mike was an aimless drifter, I keep asking Mike about songs Damian wrote, Damian references historical and literary figures, I didn’t do my research, another question about Fucked Up’s “tensions,” Mike blames the media, I’m asking stock questions apparently, Mike and I have interview tension, Mike breaks down the FAQ he’s been getting about Glass Boys, Mike didn’t know Sandy was upset, Josh is “honest guy,” Mike doesn’t think administration talk is good podcast fodder, how the ideas (not “concepts”) for Glass Boys came to be, writing about the music industry, Mike seems into my question about his references to “echo” on this album, the hardcore punk continuum, embracing nostalgia and taking responsibility for one’s place in time, what Fucked Up talk about amongst themselves, Positive Force, the groovy rationale behind Glass Boys’ multiple tempos, where the album title comes from, Mike likes writing, pharmacists don’t have to have good origin stories, the Year of the Hare Zodiac single and my haircut, Mike wants to know how my podcast works, Mike works out and he beat me at an arm wrestle in Newfoundland and I didn’t like it, Josh wants this horror show to end, Mike thinks the slower Glass Boys songs might be longer than the regular ones, “Sun Glass [Slow version],” Nils Bernstein, and then the fiasco is over.

Related links: fuckedup.cc matadorrecords.com/fucked_up vishkhanna.com

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